David Congalton

Everyone remember me discussing the movie Authors Anonymous? Well, welcome to day three of discussing it… even though I technically just mentioned it in yesterday’s post.

Anyway… after posting the first time about my watching the movie, I got a pretty big surprise in my e-mail the following morning. David Congalton had somehow come across my blog. David is the screenwriter to the movie Authors Anonymous. Pretty cool, huh?

If you read my post, you would know that I didn’t “love” the movie and didn’t exactly “rave” about it. So, when I realized who he was I felt a bit anxiety coming on. I felt guilty for not loving the movie and… well, what are the odds of the screenwriter coming across my blog? Then I said to myself, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. What I like, others dislike and what I dislike, others like.” So, the movie wasn’t my cup of tea. You win some, you lose some.

Despite all that, David is really nice and I’m flattered he read my blog let alone taking the time to write to me. He sent me a link to read the actual script for the movie, which is pretty cool.

I’ve always thought about writing scripts. I used to when Script Frenzy (a sister site of NaNoWriMo, for those of you who do not know) was around, but when it got shut down I started focusing more on my novels. I had two scripts completed, but lost both of them when my flash drive died almost two years ago. The ideas are still in my head and I plan on writing them again eventually. They just might be in novel format instead of script. Either way, if I ever do get back into script writing, I have a real life example of how to format it and what it’s supposed to look like.

I e-mailed him back and from there he sent me another reply explaining his inspiration for the movie and the characters as well as some background about the movie and how it came to be. He also sent me a link to an interview he had about the movie which gives a little more insight as well as the hardships of writing and creating a movie. The article was published in the magazine Psychology Today. I encourage you all to read it whether you write scripts, write novels, or are just reading this blog because you might be lost (if that’s the case, thanks for reading this much!).

Apparently the Authors Anonymous idea formed in David’s mind eight years ago originally calling itself Scribble. Even though David is discussing his script, the same rules go for novel writing. Except… we’re not dealing with directors and actors, but close enough.

My point is David spent eight years on this idea and didn’t give up. I have been writing for 11 years now with five unpublished manuscripts… some aren’t even edited yet, I’m ashamed to admit. I think it’s about time I get moving and start seriously thinking about publishing.

I’ve sent a few things to agents and publishers and even submitted to magazines and such, but no dice. I know nothing is going to happen over night, but I tend to take extremely long breaks in between sending stuff out. It’s hard between working full time and school full time among other life happenings, but it’s just something I have to do. I want this as a career, which means I have to actually work for it… just like the characters in the movie. Who knew a movie I wasn’t totally into would end up being so inspirational?

Thanks, David!

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Camp NaNoWriMo

Camp National Novel Writing Month…

 

2013-Participant-Campfire-Facebook-Profile

 

Show of hands–who is participating in Camp NaNo this year? I know that I am and I have to say that I am certainly not prepared for it…

First, I’m a little disappointed that Script Frenzy is no more. I loved that website and I loved participating. Can you do a script for NaNo? Of course, but it’s not really the same. I think they took down Script Frenzy because not a lot of people were joining it…as far as I’m concerned, there were a good amount of people on there. Most of the people on NaNo were on Script Frenzy.

Second, they changed the dates again. The first year I discovered Camp NaNo was 2011 and it was during the months of June and July. For 2012 it was July and August. Now, for 2013, it’s April and July. I’m glad we can all agree on at least July. I’m sure they changed it to April because that’s when Script Frenzy used to be.

Third, my OCD is kicking it. There are 12 months in a year and three sessions of NaNoWriMo. 12 divided by three is four. Each session should be four months a part. November, March, July. End of story. Of course, that would mean I would have to write 50,000 this month, but…whatever. The way they have it now is obnoxious. November to April is five months, April to July is three months, and July to November is three months. Make it even, please!

This poses as an issue. April is less than one month away and I have no idea what to do for it. Not to mention that I am already in the middle of a novel. I know some people are “rebels” and they just add 50,000 words onto whatever novel they are currently writing, but I don’t like to do that. I like to start fresh. So this means that I have to finish Take Over by April because if I start writing something new, I know for a fact that I will never go back to Take Over. And I really need to start finishing things that I start.

So I am going to try to work extra hard for the rest of this month and try to get Take Over finished up. Then I can start planning for April and…I have no idea what novel I am going to write for that. But I guess I can’t really worry about that right now because I have to focus on finishing Take Over. This is a lot to handle; especially since I’m trying to get school organized and such.

By the way, I finished reading Beautiful Creatures. It was a good book–everyone should read it. But while the movie was great, it really didn’t do the book justice. So if you’re one of those people who gets angry when the movie is completely different from the book, I say watch the movie before you read the actual book. That way, you can enjoy the movie for just a little bit. Anyway, that’s 563 pages added to my pages read count!

As you know because I haven’t posted in a couple of days, I have no written in a couple of days. I have been busy and I have been exhausted. I am, however, going to try my absolute best to finish Take Over by April. That gives me a little over three more weeks and I’m already doing pretty well on the story. I think I should be able to do it.

I just have to cut off all ties with life.

 

2013: 41,268/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,495/18,250 Pages Read

Sad News

I haven’t updated this in a while with very good reasons…

1. Everyone knows that we switched from Verizon to Comcast, correct? Well, the internet still refuses to work. It’s getting pretty annoying. I can’t use my laptop at all. I can’t use it to work on my websites, I can’t use it to update this, and I can’t use it for school. My dad is bringing my laptop to a guy to completely clean it out because it had a virus on it a year or so ago. All the other laptops work (sometimes), so we’re wondering if my laptop still has some bits of the virus on it and that’s why it refuses to work. So I’m going to be out of a laptop for a little while…well, I already have been out of a laptop.

I’m using the school computer right now so–I hate to say this–it’s a good thing that I go to school five days a week. I need to get absolutely everything done at school. It’s such a pain, though. The only thing I can use my own laptop for it for writing on Word. Which brings me to the worst part of this post as well as the other reason as to why I haven’t updated in so long…

2. My flash drive broke. My sister tried to fix it and the computer guy my dad knows tried to fix it. It’s completely dead. The guy said he could fix it, but the software would cost 800 dollars. He said he could ship it to Brazil so it would be cheaper, but…I said no. That’s too much. My uncle is going to try to fix it, but I really have my doubts that it will work. We’ll have to see, but I’m pretty sure it’s gone.

It really upset and discouraged me. All of my novels were on there. I didn’t have any other back-ups to the novels because my computer had gotten the virus. Along with school work, Sunday school stuff, and website stuff, this is everything I lost:

  • Hunter — I printed it out to edit it, so worse comes to worst, I’ll just have to type it up again.
  • Hunted — The sequel to Hunter…I was half way through it and now it’s gone.
  • Diary of a Lover — I printed this out to edit it, too, so again I can just type it up again.
  • Saving Each Other — My 2012 NaNo that I finished last December…100% gone. I had no back-ups and none of it was printed out…I have to start from scratch all over again.
  • The Blank Page — It wasn’t finished, but as you all know, I have been working hard on this one a lot. Now I have to start completely over again.
  • Asking Bobby & Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium — Both of these are printed out, so they’re safe.
  • Fast Friends — Didn’t get too far in this one, but at least it was better than nothing…now it is nothing.
  • Echo — I was almost done with this one…gone.
  • Last Friday — I wrote this in a notebook and I had one more chapter left. Typing it up took me a really long time and now I’m going to have to do it again…at least it’s not completely gone.
  • The Others — My very first NaNo and the only one I every won. I never finished the novel, but I only had one or two more chapters left…another one gone.
  • Far Away — A love story I started, re-started, and re-started again…I got pretty far with it and now that’s gone, too.
  • Diary of a Killer — Didn’t get too far, but I really liked where it was going.
  • A Job to get Done — I loved this one. I was over 50 pages into it…gone.
  • Pyro — The origin story of my muse…the one and only character who speaks to me while I write. He popped into my head long before I even decided to make him a character in a story. I have no idea where he came from, but now I have to write his story all over again.
  • The Battle of Cooper’s Place — A script I wrote for Script Frenzy…it was my first one and I won. It sucked, but now it’s gone.
  • Halfway to Heaven — Another script I wrote. I loved this script. I was going to turn it into a novel, too…now I have to re-write that whole thing.
  • Four Fathers — A TV show I based off of a Ninja Turtles FanFiction I wrote. It was coming along pretty well.
  • All of my FanFiction stories…which was somewhere in the 100s, so I can’t even list them all to you.

And there you have it. 18 stories lost…there were more, but they were only a page or so in so they weren’t really important because they were small prompts and such.

I cried. I’ll admit that. I was thinking of everything that I lost, all that time and imagination I spent on those stories…and they’re all gone. I have to say that it was a real eye-opener for me, though. That saying is really true…”you never know what you have until it’s gone.”

So I decided that not only am I going to keep up with writing more, I’m going to focus more on finishing everything that I start. Looking at that list, I had a ton of ideas and characters roaming around in my head. So I think it’s time to jot down small ideas instead of switching completely over to a new novel. I have a new novel in the works at the moment and since I’m in the mood to write it, I think I’m going to start off with that one. I still have a lot of planning to do for it, but that’s alright. In the meantime, I can start editing some novels…well, just Hunter and Diary of a Lover since those are the only novels I have left at the moment.

But now I think about it, I have a ton of novels that are started in notebooks…I should really go through my notebooks, huh?

Anyway, let this be a lesson learned for all of you! I have no idea how my flash drive broke, but I had two (well, now one). I should have put everything on both. I’ll keep that in mind for next time. So I’ll try to writing again as soon as possible, but I kind of need to wait until I get my laptop back. I think my dad is going to call Comcast, too…even though everyone else’s work, they still go on the fritz sometimes. Hopefully this will be the end.

Writer’s Block or A.D.D?

All These Characters in My Head Won’t Sit Down and Shut Up….

 

What is writer’s block?  Basically, it means that a writer has run out of new ideas.  They cease to write for a little while due to lack of idea, inspiration, whatever you want to call it.  This could happen in between writing books or it could happen while you’re in the middle of writing a book.  It can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone.  To put it simply: it sucks.

What is A.D.D?  Attention Deficit Disorder.  You may have impulsive actions; you may have a high hyperactivity level, or lack a high attention span.

The difference between writer’s block and A.D.D is that you can be diagnosed with A.D.D and…Let’s face it; writer’s block is all in your head.  My point is if you’re a writer, how can you tell what you have?  Regardless of being diagnosed with A.D.D or not, we can pretend to diagnose ourselves (if we assume that we have it).

Anyway, writer’s block means that you’re fresh out of ideas, correct?  Well, I don’t have that problem.  If you read the Writing tab at the top, you would know that I write young adult novels, middle grade novels, children’s books, and I have a few ideas for scripts.  Now…if I had writer’s block, would one think that I would have ideas for 7 scripts (5 being movies and 2 being TV shows), 5 children’s books, 10 middle grade novel (but it’s a series, so there will be more planned), and 98 young adult novels?  No, I don’t think so.

Now, I self-diagnosed myself with A.D.D a long time ago, but I was never tested for it.  I don’t know for certain if I really have it.  So, let’s assume that I don’t have it since I was never tested for it…18 out of 120 ideas I listed above have been started.  Only 6 of those 18 ideas have actually been completed…two of them are children’s books, two of them are young adult novels, and two of them are movie scripts.  The sad part is that one of those children’s books would have never even been thought of if I didn’t have to write a children’s story for my Child Development class in high school.

Now finally on to my point…how do you know if you really have writer’s block or A.D.D when it comes to writing?  The answer?  You don’t.  In one case, you could be in the middle of writing one story, but stop and move onto the next because you may have ran out of ideas on what to do next.  Then you would have writer’s block.  In the other case, you could be in the middle of writing one story, but stop and move onto the next because you lost interest in the story.  The plot is moving too slowly, you hate your characters, or you simply have an idea on what to do next, but you don’t like it.  Or you could be writing a scene and from that scene a whole new plot unfolds in your head for a completely different novel. That happens to me a lot and I cannot stress enough when I say a lot. That would probably be A.D.D. Either way, that novel is not getting done.

So, what is it exactly that I’m trying to say?  Whether you have writer’s block, A.D.D, or your pen just ran out of ink…that novel is not going to write itself.  Ideas or no ideas, new ideas or old ideas, keep that pen flowing or those fingers typing because believe me; once that first draft is done, a huge relief of accomplishment will surge through the veins in your body.

It took me nine months and seven days to complete the first draft of my young adult novel.  It was the very first novel I had ever finished (aside from the two children’s books).  I felt so relieved that I had actually finished something.  Sure, it was just the first draft and it was crap, but now I get to look forward to editing it and then finally kicking it out the door to get published.  I have edited it a couple of times and believe me, it still needs a lot of work.  The other young adult novel I completed took me two months and three days.  That one turned out even worse than the first novel I finished.  However, I got it done regardless of if I had ideas or not.  My main goal was just getting it done…which is why the first draft is so crappy.  Now when I edit it, I will catch errors, plot holes, and come up with new and better ideas for the story.  Believe me, it’s a lot easier working with something crappy than it is working with nothing at all.

Now, most people say that some novels can take up to a couple of years to write.  I believe that, but even though my first novel didn’t take me a year to write, I found that I felt much more accomplished with the novel I wrote in two months than I did with the novel I wrote in nine months.  So, it may be better for some people to write their novel slowly and carefully.  But, if you stay in character, keep the plot moving at an okay pace and actually have a beginning, middle, and an end; I think writing a novel as quickly as possible is the best bet.  Sure, editing will be harder than actually writing the story, but that’s how it should be.  When you write, have fun. Say what’s on your mind and write whatever ideas pop into your head. Then when you edit, you can curse all you want…what better way to take out your frustrations on a novel than to scribble all over it with red ink?

Don’t get frustrated because the novel isn’t finished; get frustrated because the finished novel isn’t polished to a sparkling shine.